Almost potty trained but not quite? Was your dog successfully potty trained in the past but has relapsed? It can be frustrating and can be a sure fire way for a lot of dogs to get tossed out in the yard to live.
There are ways to help your dog and your floors but it will take time and patience.
As a dog trainer, I’ve seen a previously successfully trained dog revert to their old ways and it can happen for many reasons, some of which include:
- Possible infection that can be solved with a quick trip to the vet and an antibiotic.
- The dog doesn’t like to go outside in very chilly weather/snow/rain, etc.
- She’s found a spot on the floor she’s previously eliminated in and the smell is attracting her.
- She’s not being let out enough for her needs.
As long as it’s not a health issue, this routine should help solve the problem.
If your dog is “free fed”, which means she has food available to her at all times of the day and night, change her to scheduled meals. In order to do this successfully, place her bowl down for an hour after each feeding and remove it after an hour. Don’t allow her to eat until her next scheduled meal time.
Keep a journal for a week or two, including times of the day when your dog is eliminating. Indoors or out. Write down the time she was fed and the time she goes potty. Over the course of this time, you will learn how soon after her meals she needs to go outside. You’ll likely find that your estimation of when she needs to go doesn’t match the reality of when she needs to go and you can adjust her outings to the schedule she actually needs.
During this time, as you’re working out the best schedule for your dogs trips outside, use a crate or a confined area for your dog when you’re not able to watch her every move. Your dog doesn’t need too much space and that’s relevant to the size and preference of the dog. A small dog in a too large sized crate will use one side of the crate to nap and the other to eliminate. If you’re there to watch your dog every second, use baby gates or furniture to block off any hallways where she can slip out of sight to tinkle on the floor.
ALWAYS take your dog outside before crating – even if you don’t think she needs to go. Give her the opportunity and set her up for success. In addition, and even more importantly, ALWAYS take your dog outside immediately after opening the crate door to let her out.
If the smell of previous pees on the floor is attracting your dog, consider having a professional carpet cleaning company come and provide you with hot water extraction carpet cleaning and a pet treatment. Although you may have blotted and scrubbed that area of the carpet in the past, the scent is still down in the padding below your carpet. Even if you can see or smell it, your dog can.
If your dog doesn’t like the cold, provide her with a jacket or sweater when going outside. If that isn’t enough, use a crate during snowy or wet days. Take her out when you know she needs to go. Even if she hates the snow or rain, she’s likely to need to go so bad that she can overlook it and get her business done quickly and get back inside.
Don’t give up! Keep to the plan for several weeks and you will be able to lead your dog to becoming successfully house trained.